Recruiting By The Numbers

With the commitment of Will Hill, the Florida Gators have eight of what is expected to be about 20 newcomers for the 2008 season. So where should the other dozen players line up?

First, realize all scholarship counts are guesswork as players are added/removed from scholarship often with little fanfare/public acknowledgment. By my count, Florida has 79 players on scholarships right now with 12 seniors. That opens up 18 newcomers for this year, and it's safe to assume at least two guys will depart via typical attrition.

Let's take a look at the Gators by the numbers, position by position to get an idea. The number listed will be the total of current scholarship players plus commitments.

Quarterback (4) ----- With no seniors here the Gators are set for this year and the next. Additional players - 0

Running Back (9) ---- Only one senior (Eric Rutledge) among this group and you have two newcomers already with Emmanuel Moody and Franklin Green. It's hard to imagine the Gators adding to this group, but I suppose it's possible. Additional players - 0

Wide Receiver (9) ----- Andre Caldwell is the only one moving on, leaving this position loaded for 2008. Still, Florida wants to have ten or thereabouts at all times. Additional players - 2

Offensive Tackle (7) ----- This is a tricky position because you have two seniors (Carlton Medder and Phil Trautwein), but one of them could possibly return for a fifth year. Additional players - 2

Offensive Guard/Center (8) ----- Replacing Drew Miller is the biggest issue facing the 2008 Gator line. Florida is loaded at guard and one of them should become the center next year. Additional players - 2

Tight End (4) ----- Tate Casey is a senior and Cornelius Ingram may never be one. Gotta get at least one great one. Additional players - 1

Defensive End (8) ----- You might as well consider Derrick Harvey a senior, but with four freshmen this year and two other commitments, it seems Florida is set for '08. Additional players - 0

Defensive tackle (8) ----- The Gators lose Clint McMillan and Lutrell Alford here and need reinforcements. Additional players - 2

Linebacker (9) ----- The Gators are well stocked personnel-wise as far as the raw numbers are concerned, but many of the nine linebackers on hand are undersized former safeties, and it's hard to be sure what to expect. Florida is always seemingly shorthanded. Additional players - 3

Defensive backs (15) ----- Florida already has four commitments to up the numbers to the max. With only Kyle Jackson and Tony Joiner in the senior class, the Gators are loaded here. Additional players - 0

Specialists (4) ----- Joey Ijjas is the only senior and Caleb Sturgis will step in for him. Additional players - 0

That's my take on where the remaining prospects for 2008 should be lined up. Certainly, the Gators could take additional players at loaded positions because you never want to turn down a great one. Also, keep in mind that the way you continue the commitment to trying to be the fastest team in the nation is by signing safeties that grow into linebackers, linebackers that grow into defensive ends and defensive ends that grow into tackles. You might see one less offensive lineman and another tight end on that side of the ball, but otherwise I suspect the numbers will be pretty close. Of course, I always look for more linebackers than Florida signs, but that's show biz.

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